Stop taking the easy road of distraction, and choose the more challenging path of obedience.

At first glance, when reading the title of this blog, it may seem that the two words “distraction” and “obedience” do not have much of a correlation. It would make sense to say that if a person is distracted, then they are not choosing to disobey. In other words, is a distracted person willfully choosing not to obey if they have never actually heard a command?

I would argue that the answer is yes. If you don’t agree with me, then consider this example. A boy comes home from school, and knows that most days there is a list of chores on the kitchen counter or the fridge for him to complete. The mother leaves the list in the kitchen, because she knows that her son goes in there every day for a snack when school is over. One day, that child wises up and realizes that if he just doesn’t go in the kitchen, then he won’t have to do any chores. He decides that he can forego his usual snack, and then he can go up in his room, lock the door, put headphones on, and play video games. Then he won’t be able to hear his mom when she is calling for him to come do the chores. The crazy part is that he actually thinks that this will somehow relieve him of his responsibility, and that his mom won’t come up stairs and knock on that door until he answers. In fact, she will probably kick it in if he keeps her waiting too long.

How often do we play this same game with God!? Personally, I am so guilty of this. This is something I have to constantly rely on God to help me with. When things start to get hard, and He is maneuvering me into areas that are getting more and more uncomfortable, I have a tendency to want to distract myself so I don’t hear his voice. I will distract myself with good things! Then I reason out why it is okay to be so distracted, because I am distracted by things like work, ministry, Christian movies and Christian music. At least I am not distracted by bad things like drugs and alcohol right?

The hard answer to this is that distractions are distractions no matter what the form, especially if they are keeping us from God. If that thing is keeping us from hearing His voice and obeying, then it is not benefiting us. It is merely a distraction that we are purposefully giving our attention to, because we are afraid of what God has for us.

For example, God might be impressing upon you that the most important thing in your life right now is to have that uncomfortable conversation with a friend or family member where you need to apologize and ask forgiveness for some hurt you have caused. Or maybe He is telling you to forgive someone for the pain they have caused you. The easy road for you could be to just join another serving team at church, and make yourself so busy that you don’t have to hear God’s voice encouraging you to do this.

Another example might be that God is asking you to communicate the gospel to a friend who is lost. But out of fear, you replace that with something like giving a little extra in the offering on Sunday.

I say all this as someone who really struggles with distraction. My default distractions are busyness and accomplishment. God starts pushing me into areas that are too uncomfortable, and I immediately start making my to-do list of good deeds. I need to pray for these 3 people, give to those 2 people, and serve on one more team at church. It’s as if somehow I believe that these things will fix the internal imperfections that I don’t want to face by moving forward in what God has for me. It is easier to run around completing tasks than it is to stop and listen for God’s instruction.

But we are so blessed to have such a loving Father who is patient with us, and will continue to pursue us. Just like the mother in the earlier example who knocked on her son’s door, our God says to us, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20 NIV).

God loves us, and He knows far better than we do what is best for us. He wants to see us flourish. He is not encouraging us to take uncomfortable steps in our lives so He can watch us struggle. In fact, He promises that He will take those steps with us, and that we don’t have to be afraid. Today all I am asking you to do is STOP! Put aside the distractions for a minute. Put away the cell phone, the laptop and whatever else has your attention. Lean into God, and listen long enough and intently enough for Him to direct your steps for the day.

“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me” – Psalm 81:8

Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” – Luke 9:35

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8 Signs You’re Not Stuck, You’re Just More Comfortable Playing Small

Sometimes, the problem isn’t that you’re incapable of going after what you want, or that you’re being held back by some other force beyond your control.

Sometimes, the biggest issue in your life is that you’re more comfortable playing small even though you know you’re capable of a lot more. Here, the telltale signs you’re underplaying your potential in a really significant way.

1. You’re vague about what you do.

It’s not that you don’t know what you do, rather, you subconsciously eschew details because you’re afraid of being judged.
When you create grey area, there’s space to go back, correct yourself, adjust yourself to someone else’s expectations and needs. But it all comes at the cost of being untrue to yourself.

2. You have a lot of internal conflict.

You’re stuck in a sort of limbo that only happens when you at once know everything you could be doing, and yet, at the same time, are attached to playing safe.

3. You see your peers capitalizing on their skills in a way you know you’re also capable of.

You recognize that there’s so much potential for you to create a life you really love and are proud of, and you know because you see others doing it all the time.
However, for some reason, you just can’t quite motivate yourself to join them yet. You’re still too filled with doubt, or you’re really attached to being a lesser version of yourself, because you imagine that person to be better liked.

4. You work yourself to the point of exhaustion.
Truly successful people don’t do this, because they know three things:
— How to manage their time.
— How to delete responsibilities.
— That they do not need to prove their importance or worth.

5. You don’t have a top 3 goal list for this year.

You’re more or less just floating, and seeing where life takes you, rather than having a set of specific, overarching goals your daily routines are moving you closer toward.

6. You don’t know your personal “tagline.”

You should be able to summarize who you are and what you do within a sentence or two. Not because you are so uncomplicated that you can be distilled down into a few words, but because true, complete clarity is absolutely essential to success.

7. You’re afraid of being “seen.”

You still carry around the fear of what other people from your past would think of your future successes, and you resist putting yourself, or your work, out there out of fear that others would disapprove.
The fear of being “seen” and standing out from others is natural and normal, but it doesn’t come up unless you already know you have something that sets you apart, something that would absolutely get people’s attention.

8. You have as much anxiety about being successful as you do failing.

For as much as you worry about potentially not succeeding, you likewise have as much anxiety about what it would mean to have everything you want.

Whether it’s the fear that you could lose it, or that other people would begin to dislike you, or that you’d simply leave your comfort zone, it’s imperative to realize that successful people grant themselves permission to be successful. They intentionally allow their lives to be good. It’s definitely an adjustment, one that deep down, you know you’re ready to make.

To Avoid Embarrassment And Unnecessary Pressure

Hi guys, thanks for stopping by to this straight forward post. It has come to my knowledge people go the extreme to do things above their means.

Here are some solutions to avoid it..

  • Put your kids in schools you can afford because expensive schools doesn’t guarantee good results. Just ensure they attend a good affordable school.
  • Rent apartments you can pay for conveniently. Don’t live in a house you struggle to pay yearly.
  • A man whose wife is pregnant has good 9 months to prepare, so also the pregnant woman in question. They should even plan for the worse and only seek help when they can’t meet up.
  • Some problems in our lives don’t just pop up, 12 months ago, we knew we would pay rents…So its not an emergency.
  • Let’s plan our lives and live within our means. Save more and spend less.
  • Some women buy food for their children every morning before going to school, do you know it’s cheaper to cook at home?
  • Some buy every Asoebi and also buy shoe and bag to match.
  • Some people who don’t earn much, but have DSTV at home, go for GOTV and upgrade when your income upgrades. It’s still the same CNN.
  • Eat healthy meals and protect your family from mosquitoes to avoid going to the hospital always.
  • Take advantage of food and fruits in season, its cheaper and you can be creative to create amazing meals.
  • Don’t copy your neighbor’s style of cooking soup, she earns well and her husband is a ‘big man’
  • Don’t follow trends, wear clean well-ironed clothes and keep your hair neat. You would still look good.
  • Keep your circle small, keep only friends that have senses!
  • Above all things, have the fear of God, have integrity, don’t be lazy and be prayerful.
  • Planning is the key, if you fail to plan, you plan to FAIL
  • God bless us all and provide all our needs.

The Situation Analysis Of Life

After Secondary School..
All your classmates have gone in different directions in the world.

Some have completed universities and are now:
Doctors,
Engineers,
Teachers,
Pilots,
Lawyers,
Administrators, etc.

Some are married,
Some have given birth,
Some are still searching and waiting on the Lord.
Some are dead, don’t forget that too.

And others are on the sick bed,
Some are running their higher degrees: Masters, PHD, etc.

Some haven’t even gained admission into the tertiary institution and may NEVER be able to.

Some own companies,
Some are now Directors and major shareholders in global companies.

But how do you feel
When you meet your classmates, and it seems like he/she has accomplished their dreams and you’re not yet close to yours?
So many thoughts run through your mind, right?
First, you think God has not been fair to you.

How about the ones you meet on the street wearing dirty cloths and still struggling for survival ?
Do you get the same thoughts running through your mind?
I guess, NO.

Don’t forget too that some are already dead.
Somehow it feels natural to have that feeling of jealous for those mates who seem better off, but it is really unnecessary.

There is no room for regrets,
We are all different and our paths to greatness are also not the same in distance.

Some might have arrived earlier before you and some after you, but whatever level you find yourself in life,
Please keep trying to break limitations and move further.

Celebrate the success of others, its an indication that yours too shall surely come.

Your friend buys a car now, be happy with him/ her.
Remember when you’ll buy yours,
theirs might not be the latest again.
There’s no permanent champion, but current champion.

Life is not about competition, do not be in a race with anyone; remember, we may seem to be reading the same book but different chapters at different times.

Don’t let the passion in you kill the desire in you, keep it burning.

What you’re passing through today;
Write it down because one day the world would be ready to read it, they’ll become part of your success story.

There’s no height you cannot attain, believe in yourself, define your goals, recognize distractions and don’t stop striving.

Spend time teaching yourself, because those things that mainly take people to the top are the things they devoted their time to develop.

Don’t be intimidated by your friend’s success, the sky is wide enough for birds to fly without touching one another.

Value every little thing that God brings into your life, love God and obey Him.
For with God, all things are possible.

Now to those who are on top Never forget to give a helping hand to those who are down. Because Life is full of uncertainties; the one you pull up today, may be the one to hold your hands and prevent you from falling tomorrow

A piece of advice there, food for thought

Please share, comment and like this to all your friends and let them realize that God has a purpose in their lives.

God bless you.

Things You Learn When Life Doesn’t Turn Out The Way You Wanted

We often grow up with an idea of what our life will look like when we are at a certain age, more often than not, it is a realistic image, and more often than not, life doesn’t necessarily mirror the image we had for it. At that moment, we can feel inadequate, we can feel like a failure and we can feel that we failed to create the life we want or deserve, but if we take a closer look sometimes the magic is in the journey rather than the destination, it is in the lessons we learn along the way and the changes we have to go through to become the best versions of ourselves.

My life didn’t turn out to be anything like I imagined, in fact the image I had for my life doesn’t even come close to what it is now, and even though I do have my days when I brood about it and wonder where I went wrong, I still smile when I look back at the things I learned when the pieces of the puzzle didn’t fit.

1. You Learn To Steer The Wheel In Another Direction

You know how the saying goes “If you don’t bend you will break” You will find yourself face to face with your fears and your worst nightmares, but you will have to face them, even if you don’t win, even if you fall short, even if you will never be the same person again, you will navigate through them to reach your destination. It is exactly like driving, sometimes you get lost, sometimes you take roads you don’t want to take, sometimes you drive alone at night and it can get scary, sometimes you will have to stop at a red light even though you can’t wait to go home, sometimes you will get into an accident and it may or may not be your fault, but the key will always be to keep driving and steer the wheel in another direction, whatever direction leads you back home.

2. You Will Be Forced To Look Within For Validation

If you are a people person like myself, you get your energy and your validation from those around you, you always wonder do they like me? Did I say the right thing? Are they going to speak well about me? Does my boss think I’m smart enough? Will this man stay or will he get bored and leave? You constantly expend your energy on those around you and that sometimes can be the demise of your own identity and personal growth. This may sound like a cliché but it is true, the best way to use your energy is to consume it on yourself first, and be in touch with who you are regardless of what those around you think of you. You have to embrace your flaws and shortcomings while working on them rather than seek validation from those around you. It helps when someone sees something good in us that we ceased to believe and it helps when someone picks us up when we fall, but at the end of the day, it is temporary relief. If you want long-term relief, you need to seek validation from yourself first and welcome the validation of others second, but you should always come first.

3. You Might Want To Reconnect With God

“When we have nothing left but God, we discover that God is enough.” This is one of my favorite quotes to sum up faith and life too. When things don’t go as planned, and when life gets hard, it is easy to sink in a dark hole and drown in a sea of anger, negativity and despair; also known as rock bottom. The good thing about hitting rock bottom is the fact that it allows you to reach to a higher power, ask for help, pray and seek guidance from the creator. If it takes a toll on your faith, let me assure you that you will not make it out of rock bottom easily, however if you use it as a tool to reconnect with God and strengthen your faith and the belief that God has a better plan for you and that his plans will make you happier than you ever thought you will be, you will be just fine. God sometimes gives us what we need rather than what we want, sometimes it is best not to ask questions and try to go against the ebb and flow of what God brings to our life, sometimes it is better to look up and say I know you got this, let go and keep the faith.

4.You Are Going To Lose Some People

It is a part of life, the more you know who you are and seek validation from within, the more people you are going to lose. Some people will not like it, some people will try to bring you back down, some people will hurt you, some people will walk away, some people will give up on you, and others will stab you right in the face. Only a few good ones will stick around and respect the transition, those people are the ones that are in your life to stay and will help you become your best self. I must say this is the hardest lesson, it doesn’t only require strength and self-control, it requires you to never look back, to close some doors that you so wanted to remain open. The hardest part is not letting them go, the hardest part is letting them go knowing you will not let them back in again, knowing that deep in your heart this person will cause you more damage than good and they have to go. In some cases, losing is winning.

5. It Will Make You A Better Person

Finally, when your life doesn’t turn out the way you wished for, it will humble you. It will make you a kinder person, a more sympathetic person, a wiser person, a stronger person, a less judgmental person, a deeper person, or simply it will make you human. You will learn that you can’t be perfect and you never will be, you will learn that you will fail at things you thought you were good at, you will learn that you can be hard to love sometimes, you will learn that you have bipolar tendencies, you will learn that you cannot control your surroundings and you cannot make someone change or someone love you. You will learn to accept your fate and stop trying to change it. You will learn that life will scar you, and it will hurt you but it will also surprise you-sometimes in a good way, and one day you will look back and be able to connect the dots, one day you will look back and make sense of all the confusion, one day you will surprise yourself when you look at the image you had for your life and realize that it doesn’t resonate with you anymore and it doesn’t matter.

Maybe One Day We’ll Figure This Life Out

Figuring Life Out

Maybe one day we’ll know why certain people have left us and why they didn’t come back. One day we will be able to connect the dots and understand how the pieces we didn’t understand all found their way to fit into the puzzle of our lives and complete the picture.

Maybe one day we’ll know why destiny keeps bringing certain people back into our lives or why their lessons had to be learned over and over again so we can finally know it by heart.

Maybe those people are meant to be a bigger part of our future and they keep reappearing to remind us that their part in our story is not over.
Maybe one day we’ll know why we left certain jobs and why we were forced to change directions. Maybe we were meant to change the world and our jobs weren’t going to make that happen. Maybe we are free spirits who are destined to roam the world freely without being caged in an orbit of predictability.

Maybe one day we’ll know why we didn’t get along with our parents or our relatives. Maybe we were meant to go out and make new friends and find people who teach us that we don’t have to share the same blood to count as family. Maybe we were meant to get lost and wander to find where we truly belong – to find a home we don’t want to escape from.

Maybe we were meant to fail and be laughed at to learn how to shield ourselves from the stones that keep getting thrown our way.

Maybe we needed to learn how to walk on pebbles so we can walk slowly and discover that there is more than one path along the way.

Maybe we were meant to be laughed at so we can understand that one person’s tragedy is another person’s comedy.

Maybe we were meant to fall in love with the wrong people to learn that love doesn’t discriminate. That the heart doesn’t know the rules or the terms or the social conduct. It just feels and jumps recklessly into anything that moves it. Maybe we need to learn that love will always be inexplicable, something of the Gods, something that calls us to do things that are unfamiliar to us. Something that makes us believe in magic – a dream that meddles in the nightmares of reality.

Maybe we were meant to sail away from the shore to learn the methods of surviving alone, to learn that loneliness won’t kill us and solitude can be our friend. Maybe we need to disappear to see who will care to find us, who will care to bring us back to life, who will wonder about us and who will wish we never find our way back.

Maybe we needed to be scared so we can understand that we will never be fearless but we can be courageous and we can be brave. Maybe one day we will know if our fear is merely a reflection of our own insecurities or fear of our own greatness . Maybe one day we will know why we were so afraid to shine.

Maybe one day we will know why we just can’t be happy, why we are always searching for something to stress us out so we can feel like we are part of society, why we always have to feel ‘useful’ to be accepted, why we always want more than what we have and why we feel like it’s a crime to just exist – just be – bounded by our nothingness.

Maybe one day we will look back and life will make sense, maybe one day we will stop asking so many questions and let the answers find us. Maybe one day we will know for sure why we wasted so much trying to get a grasp of life that we forgot that we are here to live it – not understand it.

There Is No Hurry. Really?

In all labour there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

Procastination the thief of time

Charles Seindoll introduced him thus: A formidable giant, quick as a laser, silent as a moonbeam, very slick and can pick any lock. Once inside, His winsome ways will captivate your attention such that you world treat him as your best friend; but watch out, he is a professional thief. He will strip you without a blink of remorse. His name is Procrastination.

He specializes in stealing priceless valuables of time and incentives and leaving cheap substitutes in their place like excuses, rationalizations, empty promises, embarrassment and guilt.

The greatest weapon of this con-artist is not a bold face instruction of don’t do it but a subtle suggestion of there’s no hurry and with this, he hardly loses. He can outtalk any student when it comes to homework. He can outthink any executive when it comes to correspondence. He can out work any housemaker when it comes to doing dishes. He can outlast any parent when it comes to discipline.

Why not purpose to defeat this thief of time now. Surprisingly, as powerful and cunning this guy is, he cannot stand one word. NOW! It immediately sends him fleeing in frustration each time you say it and muster discipline to mean it. For starters, today, why not list two projects you’ve put off previously and get one done as we begin this new month.

Enjoy Grace!

Never put till tomorrow what you can do today.

Ways To Stop Worrying About How Your Life Looks And Start Focusing On How It Feels

Ways To Stop Worrying About How Your Life Looks And Start Focusing On How It Feels

1. Count how many times you’ve really been happy after you got something you thought you wanted. What happened after you got the relationship you were lusting after? What happened after you got that job? What happened when you made more money? Chances are, things were different, but proportionately good and bad.

2. Make a list of all the imperfect people you’ve known in your life who have had love. Who have had romantic partners and best friends and jobs you could only ever dream of. Make a list of all the people who are conventionally unattractive and spiritually adrift and imperfect and all the things each one of them had despite being that way. Make it your own personal proof that you do not need to be perfect to be good enough.

3. Ask yourself what you’d do if social media were no object, and nobody would know. What would you do this Saturday, what would you do tonight? What would your career goals be, how many photos would you really take? Who would you hang out with, where would you live, if you weren’t silently policing yourself through the lens of “what other people see.”

4. Ask yourself what you’d do if money were no object, and you could do anything. This is a classic exercise that many people dismiss because of how impractical it is. Unfortunately, those people aren’t thinking deeply enough to understand the real point. It’s not to discover what you’d actually do if you didn’t have to worry about money (that’s not our reality) it’s about the essence of what you’d do, and how you can incorporate that into your everyday life. Would you vacation, would you keep your current job? It just goes to show you whether you value relaxation or accomplishments or whatever else, and understanding what you value is crucial to understanding who you are.

5. Take photos to remember happy moments, not prove that you looked good or did something cool. Make a special album on your phone just for “happy moments.” When you feel good or are enjoying yourself or have some kind of revelation, just take a photo of whatever’s in front of you (however unworthy of Instagram it is.) When you look back at these seemingly random snapshots, you’ll experience those feelings all over again. You’ll see, by contrast, the emotional difference between capturing the moments that matter to you and creating moments to matter for other people.

6. Identify the “people” you always think are judging you. You know how people always say that? “People are judging me.” “I’m worried about what people will think.” Most of the time, those “people” are a faceless crowd that only exist in your mind. In other words, they’re you, projected outward. It’s what you’re judging yourself for. The first step is realizing that the “people” you worry about don’t really exist.

7. Think about what makes you feel the most jealous. The things that make us the most jealous and envious are usually the things that we feel we’re not living up to within ourselves. We’re jealous of the beautiful girl not because we want to be beautiful like her, but because we’re lacking something so much more important, which is love for ourselves. We’re jealous of the successful writer not because we also want to be lauded, but because we know we’re not doing the work to get there.

8. Don’t clean before someone comes over. Save for people who, you know, aren’t hygienic, don’t worry about setting up a stage when someone else visits. I’m not talking about straightening up or putting personal items away, but actually trying to construct an appearance that is the physical equivalent of bleach blonde hair dye. Let people into your life in a true way. Let them enter a moment in your life, just as it’s happening. It’s the only way you truly bond.

9. Re-think how you celebrate the most important days of the year. Most people do it with relatives they see only on holidays, who they don’t have genuine relationships with otherwise, and who they are vaguely unhappy to have to see. These days are meant to be spent treating the people who love you all year round to parties and meals and gifts. Not the people who you feel morally obligated (but emotionally repressed) into stomaching.

10. Get rid of things that aren’t purposeful or meaningful. The reason why this is so important is because things are defining, especially when we buy them with the intention of making us “different.” Our things construct our experiences. They create what we see and by extension how we feel. They are the means through which we put ourselves together each day. It’s not about having as little as possible, it’s about having only things that serve purpose or hold meaning. Do it. It will transform your life. (And that’s no small claim to make.)

11. Ask yourself: “If I knew nobody would judge me, what would I stand for?” What do you inherently agree with, once you’re past all the self-imposed social filters? People think being conscious of their hidden thoughts and feelings and prejudices = being unaware and ignorant, but the opposite is true. It’s being unaware that’s a problem.

12. Ask yourself: “If I could tell every single person in the world just one thing, one sentence, what would it be?” Would you say: “it’s going to be okay?” “Don’t worry so much?” “Seek the best in others?” “Follow me on Twitter?” What you think you’d want to say to everyone out there is actually a projection of what you most need to hear. That’s what you most want to tell you.

13. Decide that to be worthy of something is just to be grateful to have it. You choose what your self-esteem is measured by. You decide what your worth is based on. You decide whether or not you’re good enough for something, and because that is the case, decide that the people who are worthy of what they have are the ones who are grateful to have it. Nothing more, nothing less.

14. Realize that you are not only as accomplished as you are over your biggest hurdle. You’re not only as “good” as you are “perfect,” you’re not only as “good” as you are better than someone else, either. In the words of Oprah (who else?) you can have everything, just not at the same time. Be grateful for this: it means you have the opportunity to appreciate what’s in front of you, and you always have something else to work toward and look forward to.

15. Assume that all things are for the best. When people care most about how their lives look is when they’re most closed to how their lives feel. When they’re most closed to how their lives feel is when they don’t want to feel pain. Being truly at peace requires realizing that everything is for the best: everything in your life does one of three things: shows you to yourself, heals a part of yourself, or lets you enjoy a part of yourself. If you adopt that perspective, there’s nothing left to fear.

16. Ask yourself: “If the whole world were blind, how many people would I impress?” This Boonaa Mohammed quote has been making the rounds lately, but it’s always important. Truly imagine a life in which you could not see things. In which all that exists is how you feel, and how you make others feel. In this kind of world, what kind of person are you, and is it for those reasons that, perhaps, creating a life that looks good to earn other people’s love has supplemented having your own?

When You Think Life Sucks: Do These Things

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

Life is not always great.

At times it may not even feel OK.
When you’ve had several setbacks in a row, bad luck or things aren’t going your way – even though you do your best – then it may feel like: my life simply and honestly sucks.
I think most of us have had days and likely longer periods like weeks or months when we’ve thought about life like this and felt pretty glum and like there’s a personal little rain cloud over your head.

What can u do when that happens?
In this article I’d like to share 10 things that have helped me when I’ve asked myself: why does my life suck?
I hope you find something here that’ll help you out. THE POSITIVITY BLOG

1. It’s OK to feel frustrated (but know how to handle it so you don’t get stuck).

When things aren’t going your way then you sometimes get frustrated. That’s natural and OK. So instead of trying to push these emotions away accept and process them.

But also know how to not get stuck in them because then they’ll just suck a lot of energy and time from your week.
One thing that helps me to reduce that frustration so I can move forward once again is to stop my thoughts from bouncing around in the past or a possible future by reconnecting with this moment.

Two of my favorite ways for doing that are to:
Focus on my breathing. I sit down with closed eyes and then just focus on the air going in and out of my nose. I do that for 1-2 minutes while making sure that I take calm and slightly deep breathes than I usually do and I breathe with my belly (and not my chest).
Focus on what is around me for 1-2 minutes. The people going by out on the street. The slight draft from one of the windows. The warmth from the radiator. The snow slowly falling outside my window and the soft clothes on my skin. This brings my attention fully back to what is here right now.
By doing one of these things for just that tiny amount of time I calm down and it becomes easier to focus and to think clearly again. I then follow that up with the next habit in this article.

2. Tap into gratitude for the simplest of things.

This is usually my next step when I want to reduce frustration. But it works well on its own too when you feel like life sucks. Because during those times it’s easy to go from feeling sorry for yourself for a while into full on victim thinking that lasts for too long and drags you down. I find that zooming out a bit during these times helps.

So I ask myself: what are 3 simple things that I can still be grateful for having in my life?

A handful of answers that I tend tocome back to often are at least partly things that are basic for me but many out there in the world still don’t have access to. Like for example:
A roof over my head and a warm home.
Plenty of drinkable water. I don’t have to go hungry. The simple pleasures of life like a sunset or a relaxing walk in the woods. My family and friends.

3. Focus more on the small how-tos and less on the whys.

Processing what happened and what you feel is certainly important. But instead of taking the common route of dwelling on the whys of the negative situation 80% of the time and looking for solutions 20% of the time switch those numbers around. Spend more of your time on finding the small and practical steps you can take to make things better (even if it’s just a little better at this time). By doing so you’ll start to feel more confident and less suffocated and paralyzed as you are moving forward once again.

4. Reminder: This is temporary. And there is a brand new day tomorrow.

Just because this day or the last week didn’t go well doesn’t mean that there is not a brand new day tomorrow. A day when you can start fresh. With taking action to move towards what you want, likely having a bit more luck and when it will be easier to see that this difficult time is only temporary and not permanent (even if it might feel that way right now).

5. Ask yourself: What is going well in my life though?

It is very easy to get stuck in focusing on the negative things when you start thinking that life or your week or month isn’t going well. But don’t forget that there are still things that are going well in your life. It may be small things.
When I had several setbacks last year I asked myself this question and it helped me to open up my mind and to not get too focused on only the things that weren’t going so well. By opening my mind I could see that many vital things like my small business, my exercise habit and flossing habit were indeed going well and that several fun things had happened recently too.

6. Setbacks can be very valuable if I let them.

I know this may sound like a cliche. And when I’m having a tough time then it’s not what I usually like to hear. But at the same time I must admit that it’s often true. And it’s an important thing for me to reminder myself of because it reduces the pain I feel from a setback since I know that this shall pass and that I will usually get something good out of it in the end. Now, a common way of looking at failures, mistakes and obstacles on yourjourney is of course as something negative and as things that should be avoided. But trying to actively avoid them at any price usually leads to analysis paralysis and a lack of taking any significant action at all.
And the setbacks and mistakes in life can indeed be very helpful. If you let them. So before you start moving on from one of them ask yourself:
What is one thing I can learn from this situation?

How can I adjust my course to avoid this trap/making the same mistake and to likely do better the next time?
These questions have helped me to improve a lot about how I do things in life and to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

7. Reminder: It’s OK to have a bad day.

Sometimes a bad day will just be a bad day. Even if you use a couple of the previous tips and strategies.
Because no matter what you do, life will never be perfect, awesome or peaceful all the time. It will still have natural valleys even if you adopt many new and positive habits .

And that’s OK.

But here’s the upside…

If you actually accept that this is howlife is from time to time – and you stop clinging to a dream of perfection – then your life will become lighter and simpler and you’ll be less stressed out and able to more constructively handle that bad day when it does show up on your doorstep.

8. Let it out.

Keeping things bottled up and not letting them out makes it – in my experience – easier to start making mountains out of molehills. And unbeatable nightmares out of things that do genuinely suck. So let what is weighing on you out. You can do it by:
Talking it over with someone close to you. Maybe you just need to vent and to figure things out for yourself as he or she listens. Or maybe the two of you can talk it through to ground the situation in reality. And to come up with the start of a plan for what you can do. Writing about it in a journal. Just letting your thoughts, worries and emotions out on paper or a computer screen can be a relief. And it can help you to start structuring things, to think things through and to start seeing possible solutions or small steps you can take.

9. Work it out.

When things are bad and you cannot think yourself out of the state of mind that it leads you to then take another route. Stop using your head and start usingyour body. Go for a walk in the wintery landscape.Play badminton or soccer with friends. Head to the gym and work out in someway. Will the situation perhaps still suck when you get back? Yes. But maybe less so than you first thought. Because now you have less inner tensions and renewed mental clarity and energy. I have found in my own life that this makes a huge difference to change my perspective and to start working myself out of a negative situation.

10. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

This thought helped me to hold onwhen things looked bleak for many months and to keep going when my social skills and dating life was just plain bad. It helped me to keep going when things looked like they would never pick up for my own small online business.
Why? Because I have found it to be true. When things seemed to be at the lowest point something always happened. Often because being at that low point forced me to change something in how I did things. But maybe also because life seems to have some kind of balance if I just keep going. If I keep taking action instead of giving up and doing nothing then something good always happens. Seeing this repeat itself year after year strengthened my belief in taking action and to keep going even on rough days or weeks. And it brings some comfort even when things look pretty dark.

The Only Problem With Your Life Is The Way You Think About It

1. You generally spend more time thinking about your life than you do actually living it. You spend more time dissecting problems than you do coming to solutions, more time daydreaming than you do asking yourself what those thoughts indicate is lacking or missing in your waking life, or coming up with new solutions as opposed to actually committing to the ones that are already in front of you. You’ve replaced “reflection” with “experience,” and wonder why you feel unfulfilled.

2. You don’t find wonder in the simple pleasures, the way you once did. You think nature is boring and “play” is for children and there’s nothing awe-inspiring about a shaft of light through the window or a stranger’s smile or a spring day or your favorite book in bed. When you’ve lost sight of the magic of the little things, it’s not because the magic has gone elsewhere, only that you’ve chosen to disregard it in favor of something else.

3. You have something you wanted in the past, but you don’t enjoy it the way you thought you would, or you’ve replaced your desire for it with a desire for something else. Bring yourself back to the feeling of wanting what you have more than anything, the way you once did. Try to embody that. You’re making yourself prouder than you realize.

4. If you were to tell your younger self what your life is like now, they’d be in disbelief. You seriously could not have imagined that your life would turn out as well as it did – that the worst things became turning points, not endless black holes of emotion.

5. You think of money in terms of “obligation” not “opportunity.” Your mindset is: “I have to pay my bills,” as opposed to “I get to pay my bills, which house me, clothe me, and feed me, and that I can pay for by myself.” If you don’t value money by appreciating what it does for you, you’ll never feel as though you have enough.

6. You think you don’t have enough friends. You’re measuring the connection in your life by a quantity, not a quality, assuming that the problem is not enough around you, when it’s really that there’s not enough inside you.

7. You’re either over-reliant or under-attached to the friends you do have. You either don’t keep in touch enough or you get easily frustrated because you think that friends should make you feel “better” and “happy” in an unrealistic way. So you think that the only way to achieve that is to over-bond yourself to them, or disregard them when they don’t fulfill the role you’ve imposed on them (hence your feeling as though you don’t have enough!)

8. You imagine your life as though someone else was seeing it. Before you make a decision, you recite a storyline in your head. It goes something like this: “she went to college, she got this job, she married this guy after a terrible breakup, and all was well.” This is what happens when your happiness starts to come from how other people feel about you, as opposed to how you feel about yourself.

9. Your goals are outcomes, not actions. Your goals are to “be successful” or “see a certain number in the bank” as opposed to “enjoy what you do each day, no matter what you’re doing” or “learn to love saving more than frivolously spending.” Outcomes are just ideas. Actions are results.

10. You assume you have time. When it comes to doing what really matters to you – reconnecting with family, writing that book, finding a new job – you say “I’m only [such and such an age] I have a long time.” If you assume you “have time” to do something, or that you’ll do it later, you probably don’t want it as much as you think you do. There isn’t more time. You don’t know. You could be dead tomorrow. It doesn’t mean you have to get everything done today, but that there’s rarely an excuse not to start.
11. A bad feeling becomes a bad day. You think that experiencing negative emotions is the result of something being wrong in your life, when in reality, it’s usually just a part of being human. Anxiety serves us, pain serves us, depression does too. These things are signals, communications, feedbacks, and precautions that literally keep us alive. Until you begin thinking this way, all you will perceive is that “good feelings mean keep going” and “bad feelings mean stop,” and wonder why you’re paralyzed.

12. You think that being uncomfortable and fearful means you shouldn’t do something. Being uncomfortable and fearful means you definitely should. Being angry or indifferent means you definitely shouldn’t.

13. You wait to feel motivated or inspired before you act. Losers wait to feel motivated. People who never get anything done wait to feel inspired. Motivation and inspiration are not sustaining forces. They crop up once in awhile, and they’re nice while they’re present, but you can’t expect to be able to summon them any given hour of the day. You must learn to work without them, to gather your strength from purpose, not passion.

14. You maladaptively daydream. Maladaptive daydreaming is when you imagine extensive fantasies of an alternative life that you don’t have to replace human interaction or general function. Most people experiencing it while listening to music and/or moving (walking, riding in a car, pacing, swinging, etc.) Rather than cope with issues in life, you just daydream to give yourself a “high” that eliminates the uncomfortable feeling.

15. You’re saving up your happiness for another day. You’re sitting on the train on the way to work, thinking how beautiful the sunrise looks, and how you’d like to read your favorite book, but you don’t in favor of checking your email again. You begin to feel a sense of awe at something simple and beautiful, and stop yourself, because your dissatisfaction fuels you. You’re creating problems in one area of your life to balance out thriving in another, because your happiness is in a mental container.

Reasons Why Pain Makes You A Better Person

Reasons Why Pain Makes You A Better Person

It is a fact of life that we will experience pain time and time again – pain changes people. It may take a while for the pain to leave your body and your heart or it may be engraved inside of you forever, but I realized that every time I experienced unbearable pain, I changed significantly – changed for the better. There is something about going through a lot of pain that makes you want to be a good human being.

Here’s why pain can make you a better person:

1. It makes you compassionate. When you go through a lot of pain, you become more empathetic; you don’t want others to go through what you’ve been through and you don’t wish the pain you experienced upon anyone. It teaches you how to be kind and to never underestimate someone else’s pain just because you haven’t gone through it yourself.

2. It makes you wiser. The little things don’t bother you anymore, you don’t sweat the small stuff like you used to; you look at the bigger picture instead. Pain makes you look at life differently and it makes you understand the essence of life.

3. It makes you cherish your relationships . Pain makes you value your relationships more, you realize that you have people you can lean on in times of trouble and people who genuinely love you and are happy to support you. Pain makes you strengthen the bond between you and your closest friends and family.

4. It makes you stronger. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. After the storm has passed, pain makes you a lot stronger and better prepared to face difficult situations. Pain is sometimes the training you need to pass the tests of life.

5. It makes you re-evaluate your life. It makes you reconsider your career, your health, your finances and your relationships. It can help you go in another direction or find a meaningful purpose for your life. Pain makes you stop and question a lot of things and try to find answers and these answers can change your life.

6. It can be a major source of inspiration. Your pain can be your main inspiration for a new project, for a new charity, for a new community event and if you’re an artist, it will be the catalyst for the art you produce. Most masterpieces were painted strokes of pain.

7. Your love becomes stronger. You love more deeply and you are more open to being vulnerable. Even though pain makes you stronger, it makes you softer too. It makes you want to give love and ease someone else’s pain. Your love becomes pure and more profound.

8. It makes you fight for happiness. When you’re in pain, you look for waysto feel better and ways to be happy. You do things you never thought you would just to put a smile on your face. It makes you active in the pursuit of happiness.

9. It makes you more spiritual. When you can’t understand why certain things happen to you, you tend to look for answers outside of yourself. You try to understand God and the universe. You try to comprehend the divine laws and you start to slowly believe that there must be a bigger reason for your pain – you become more in touch with your spirituality and you pay more attention to it.

10. Your scars make you beautiful. The scars no one can see, the scars that hold stories of pain and survival, the scars that show that you’ve fought for something or loved someone, the scars that indicate that you have been bruised but you’re still walking – your scars make you different, they make you a human being with imperfections and they make you special .

3 Tips for Dealing with Unemployment Stress

“Unfortunately, we will have to let you go…”

It was a Friday afternoon when in the aftermath of this devastating sentence, I packed up my things.

For months afterwards, I replayed my co-workers long faces, their barely concealed shock, and their naked relief that it hadn’t been them.

As this period grew longer and longer though, I was attacked by fear of the unknown, confused, unmotivated and sort of damaged. It was later that I came to terms with it. I became convinced that this was the best thing that ever happened to me – and it was! Because it opened a lot of doors inside of me that never knew it was there.

Unemployment is one of the many challenges that people face in the course of their careers.

The hardest thing about unemployment is not the lack of a job, but the self-doubt, the depression that creeps in, as job applications are rejected, over and over.

As someone who faced these rejections time and time again, I can tell you that it does get easier, and that it is possible to stay positive in the face of the storm. Here’s how –

1. Be Grateful

I know, I know. Easier said than done, but this is the most important of all. We have a tendency to blame ourselves for things outside our control, and nowhere is it truer than in the case of sudden job loss.

“It’s all my fault” or “I deserved it” are negative thoughts that can make your day spiral downwards instantly. Don’t indulge in them! Keep a check on negative self-talk – know that you deserve that dream job you’ve always desired. This is only a temporary setback on your way to the career you’ve always sought.

Gratitude can help direct the negative attitude into a more positive direction.

One of the methods I used was to list two positive things for every negative thought that came to me. This tactic halted the black moods immediately, and showed me that in spite of everything, I still had things to be grateful for.

Another habit to encourage grateful thinking is to list down five things you’re thankful for, that day. I did it just before bed, but this can be done at any time during the day.

2. Have a Purpose

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” – Viktor Frankl’s famous book ‘Man’s Search for meaning’ makes a valid point. During unemployment, it can feel like there’s no point of getting out of bed, or of sending out resumes for the umpteenth time.

In truth, this approach will depress you – as it did me.

Keeping to a schedule – one that allows for fulfilling, purposeful activities is the best way to get through this time.

Is there a hobby you’ve been meaning to try your hand at?

Or an event you’ve wanted to go to? Now is the time to give it a go!

During my sabbatical, I got back to my true passion – writing. I wrote every day, without fail. I wrote articles, blog posts, short stories, poetry – anything that brought me comfort. Not only did it get me back in touch with my passion, it made me better at it to some extent – and the joy it brought into my day was unparalleled, as I continue to be expectant for a better job.

3. Get Outside!

Staying at home, day after day, is depressing. One of the things that worked for me was making myself go outside. I would head out for a walk, listen to some music in the park or simply grab a cup of coffee at the nearby cafe.

This helped me see there was a world beyond the confines of my home – which eased the sense of isolation and loneliness I often felt.

One other thing that worked wonders for me? Catching up with friends. Work can make us so busy, we often get out of touch with old pals, and this can be the best time to reconnect.

I agree that it can be tough. Listening to friends talk about their work – that really exciting deal they just cracked, or the project that they are currently working on, can be hard. In fact, it can feel like they are being deliberately cruel.

They’re not. Friends and Family are crucial at a time like this – when we are most vulnerable, and it feels like the dark times will never end. Give your friends a chance to rally around you, to support you in this difficult time. If discussions about work bother you, explain your point of view – more often than not, good friends will tone them down, or avoid speaking of it altogether.

However, if it is really difficult to be around old friends – make new ones! This can be as easy as volunteering for a cause you care about or joining a hobby class – there are new and interesting people to meet all around us!

Final Thoughts

In my first days of this break, I was overwhelmed. I was frantic in my job search and networking, but I was holed up at home, and the depression came at me in waves.

No one told me that health needs to be a priority at this time – physical AND mental.

It is really important to rediscover yourself in this time. You are not your job, or the organization that you work for. You are so much more than that!

So while I did take on my job search daily – it did not take up my entire day.

These tips helped me make myself productive and happy. Try them out, they might just help you too.

I was truly inspired by Shuyaasha Misra in posting this true experience of my life early 2016.

When God’s Timing Is Taking Too Long

We all want good things to happen in our lives, but too often we want it now…not later. When it doesn’t happen that way, we are tempted to ask, “When, God, when?” Most of us need to grow in the area of trusting God instead of focusing on the “when” question. If you’re missing joy and peace, you’re not trusting God. If your mind feels worn out all the time, you’re not trusting God.

The tendency to want to know about everything that’s going on can be detrimental to your Christian walk. Sometimes knowing everything can be uncomfortable and can even hurt you. I sometimes in my life tend to being impatient, frustrated and disappointed because there were things I didn’t know. God had to teach me to leave things alone and quit feeling that I needed to know everything. I finally learned to trust the One who knows all things and accept that some questions may never be answered. We prove that we trust God when we refuse to worry.

God wants us to live by discernment—revelation knowledge, not head knowledge. It’s difficult to exercise discernment if you’re always trying to figure everything out. But when you’re willing to say, “God, I can’t figure this out, so I’m going to trust You to give me revelation that will set me free,” then you can be comfortable in spite of not knowing. Trusting God often requires not knowing how God is going to accomplish what needs to be done and not knowing when He will do it. We often say God is never late, but generally He isn’t early either. Why? Because He uses times of waiting to stretch our faith in Him and to bring about change and growth in our lives.

What You Are Looking For And Longing For

Whatever you are looking for and longing for, you are here to BE IT.

You are ready right now.

“If you inherently long for something, become it first. If you want gardens, become the gardener. If you want love, embody love. If you want mental stimulation, change the conversation. If you want peace, exude calmness. If you want to fill your world with artists, begin to paint. If you want to be valued, respect your own time. If you want to live ecstatically, find the ecstasy within yourself. This is how to draw it in, day by day, inch by inch.” ― Victoria Erickson

Today, notice what do you long for? Then ask yourself…

“How might I embody this today? How might I bring it to life myself?”

No Pain, No Gain

The Word of God tells us that God wants us to be blessed. He wants us to prosper. (See 3 John 1:2) To do this, we need to find out what the guidelines and the spiritual laws are that lead to prosperity and blessing. And there’s one thing that stands between knowing and doing: pain. Pain is not just a physical or emotional thing—there is also the pain of obedience. For example, if we hear about giving and then go home, and God puts it on our heart to give away a favorite possession, we’re going to feel some pain. Our flesh is not going to cheer us on.

How about the pain of forgiving someone or not getting back at someone who has hurt us? We could talk for hours about being submissive to authority, and we wouldn’t feel any pain. But wait until the first time someone tells us to do something, and we don’t want to do it.

The Bible talks about those who progress and those who don’t. It talks about the Word of God being sown like a seed into different types of hearts. Some people are fine. They hear the Word, receive it with joy and are all excited until they receive some opposition. (See Mark 4) It’s the same thing when it comes to progress.